Nearly every Delaware resident has some sort of online presence. Whether individuals simply have a Facebook account, save photos to the cloud or do their banking online, these accounts require attention during estate planning. Because the laws are still trying to catch up with the digital age, people need to take extra time and care to ensure that their digital assets are accounted for after death.
The first task for any Delaware resident is to determine just how many online accounts he or she has. Be sure to identify everything from an online coffee rewards account to your online stock portfolio. Next, make as complete a list as possible and include user names and passwords.
Now that all of the information is in one place, decide how each account should be disposed of after death. In some cases, some research might be required to determine what accommodations the company associated with the account will or will not make. In some cases, an executor could need to get a court order to deal with the account. Some accounts can be transferred to someone else, but others cannot. This is the type of information needed in order to determine what to do with a particular account.
Because digital assets are becoming more commonplace, many estate planning attorneys have already done this type of leg work on a variety of the most popular online accounts. This is just another reason why involving an attorney in the creation of an estate plan provides many benefits to those who are ready to create one. The goal is to create as comprehensive a plan as possible in order to relieve surviving loved ones of as much stress and frustration as possible, and ensuring that this aspect of life is included in those plans works toward that end.
Source: cnet.com, “How to deal with your online accounts before you die“, Erin Carson, April 17, 2017